Celebration: Endings and Beginnings

celebrate link upSaturday, a day to celebrate with Ruth Ayers and all the bloggers who link up with the spirit of celebrating the week.

One — Endings. The Slice of Life March Challenge ended this week. So much growth, connections and writing love was shared. I really miss it. Bittersweet.

Two  — Beginnings. This week has been the beginning of a new experience for me, writing poetry.  I am learning, growing, and having fun with it. I’m not worrying so much about the outcome; looking more at the process of doing. I want to celebrate these poets who inspire and make this  journey a joy check out their blogs:  Leigh AnneMichelleMargaret, Kevin,  Mary Lee, and Cathy.

Three — Student Questions. One big moment in my classroom life this week was a conversation spurred by our read aloud, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. The question came up around the concept of government, a shaky idea for fifth graders. The conversation led to power and literacy and the importance of being able to make wise decisions, being thoughtful and responsible citizens. We talked about basing their actions on close careful reading of people and text. That our future depends on it. I don’t know how much my students got from this discussion but the questioning that came up filled me with purpose for what I do and belief in the future.

Four — Quotes that Inspire. Friday evening I read Tara Smith’s post celebrating Jane Goodall’s 80th birthday with Mary Oliver’s poem “When Death Comes.”

What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make. -Jane Goodall

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world. — Mary Oliver

Then this quote from Terje’s blog and highlighted by Ruth today:

Live your life for you not for anyone else. Don’t let the fear of being judged, rejected or disliked stop you from being yourself.” ~Sonya Parker

Five — Finding Poetry. Today I played with ideas from the week. I messed around with order, placement.  Finally, I tried to mimic a poem I shared with my students this week, “First Take” by Jane Yolen, see her reading it here. My students were delighted when they discovered they could read it multiple ways, line by line and then vertically.

Shifting Equilibrium 

Starting at an ending:

always bittersweet;

Beginnings foster challenge:

break throughs and stumbles;

Daughters seek definition:

creating possibility;

Sons separate then settle:

finding deep connected roots;

Students naturally push:

powerful questions unearthed;

Independence requires trust:

shaking up the balance;

Citizen caretakers created:

the landscape redefined.